Summer has finally decided to grace us with its warm, lighthearted presence after a long, cold, seemingly endless winter. It’s been a tough couple of years for all of us. However, we seem to be approaching the light at the end of the tunnel; restaurants and malls are all open, majority of the mask mandates have officially been lifted: life is going back to normal.
It’s completely normal, to feel a bit anxious and overwhelmed, here are 4 steps to help us get back on track.
First and foremost, focus on you.
Adjusting to the new “normal” is anything but easy. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you’re taking proper care of yourself; your physical and mental well-being are crucial. Make sure that you’re getting enough sleep, perhaps a sleeping schedule may come in handy. Drink more water, take those vitamins! Book those doctor’s appointments, schedule your mammograms, visit your dentist, and remember to check your vision. Set daily alarms or reminders on your phone. It’s time to make sure all of your check-ups are up to date.
Take time to rest and reconnect with yourself, self care is the primary pathway to becoming the absolute best version of yourself.
Catch Up with Friends
Make plans with friends – and try to keep them. Showing up is the hardest part, especially when you’re so used to being in the house all the time. However, once you’re out, you’ll know you’re in a place where you can feel embraced and welcomed by close friends or family. Try and make an effort- be the first to reconnect. Ask if someone wants to grab a smoothie, have a nice picnic at the local park or join you for a walk.
Your invitation might even motivate others to get out of the house. And, if you’re not as much of an outdoors person then set up a movie night or in a mall-shopping tour. Shopping is a favourite pastime to do with friends. It’s always good to get a second opinion on a piece of clothing you’ve been eyeing! If you’re still not comfortable with seeing others in person, there’s so many online means of communication. Connect via group FaceTime call or share-play and stream movies with friends on Netflix or Disney +.
Find and Explore a New Hobby
Exploration comes in many different forms. Look within yourself to find what makes you happy or soothes your soul. Hobbies aren’t about just doing something that you’re good at but doing something that you genuinely enjoy. Try your hand at watercolour painting. Remember, you don’t need to be Picasso. Art should be about imaginative expression and liberation. In itself, that is beautiful, art does not need to look conventionally beautiful.
Creating a unique work of art can be extremely therapeutic and rewarding. Or you can try something that you’ve never done before, but have always wanted to try. Yoga instructions? Learn to swim? Salsa, tango or ballroom dance lessons? Poetry writing? Knitting? Photography? Cooking? The possibilities are endless. New experiences provoke new feelings that can make you feel more fulfilled and motivated.
Plan a Trip
After being stuck in the house with remote learning or jobs, the world outside has been almost completely untouched. It’s time to get to know the world again, there’s so much to see and uncover. Plan a road trip to a small town near you. Explore the world’s smallest corners, go somewhere you’ve never been before. Create some brand new, joyous memories. Surround yourself with nature’s beauty. Temporarily removing yourself from your everyday environment and routine can provide a new perspective on life.
New environments and encounters give life to unique, sometimes unseen paths to happiness. If you’re comfortable with flying again, go ahead! Book a trip to a resort or go see some family members abroad. Do some research, find out where the perfect place is for you. Remember to still be careful out there! Pack some hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and a mask for emergencies.
As the pandemic is hopefully reaching its end and life returns to normal, don’t be too hard on yourself if you are having a challenging time adjusting. One step at a time, even if those steps feel small. Small steps and efforts still count. It’s difficult to see the world the same way after all we’ve just endured. However, if the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that together, we are stronger and more resilient than ever.